Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts
This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.
Dawson Church, who has done a lot of work on the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and brought a level of scientific legitimacy to the value of this powerful tool, recently published a new book with the self-explanatory title, “Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality.”
“I was one of those people who was very focused on the effects of energy therapies in the physical body. I did the first triple-lined, randomized control trial showing how EFT affects cortisol levels. I've been very focused on immunoglobulins, brainwaves, hormones and all the things that we can measure in the body,” Dawson says.
“I have a friend at Harvard who's a psychiatrist, who told me, ‘It's the energy that's making those molecules be the way they are.' I was always a little skeptical about that. But with him and others, [such as] Dean Radin, Rollin McCraty … they all said, ‘Dawson, it's the energy. There is really a direct chain of causation between our thoughts and things.'
But I thought, ‘When I look at all the links in that chain, I'm sure I'll find a lot of broken links.' I began to look at the studies, the primary research … There were no broken links … It's just remarkable to me how our thoughts literally create things in our bodies and all around us.”
Heart Coherence Allows Synchronistic Events to Occur
The term Dawson uses in his book is “synchronicity.” And it was a series of synchronicities that led to the writing of this book.
“One of those synchronicities, just one of many, [occurred when] I was writing this chapter on synchronicity. I wanted to understand these things called ‘field line resonances.' These are scientific concepts. The earth is like a giant magnet. It has a north pole and a south pole [and] these lines of magnetic flux around the planet.
As a solar wind goes by the Earth, it literally plucks these magnetic force lines like strings on a violin. I wanted to know more about this really fascinating but very complex subject.
I was speaking at a conference with Dr. Joe Dispenza … After my talk, they put me on a science panel. On the science panel was McCraty, who had just done the most remarkable piece of research, the authoritative paper on field line resonance. He told me all about it.”
An interesting anecdote on synchronicity described in Dawson's book was how he managed to find a set of keys he lost while snorkeling in Hawaii. He retells the story:
“On this particular day, I snorkeled all over this big bay. I got back to the Jeep, put my hands in my pocket to grab the keys. No keys … So, my keys were lost and I thought I should get back to the water and try and find them.
I spent about an hour [searching]. Now, I didn't panic. That's the big thing. I talk a lot in the book about synchronous mind and being in synchrony with the universe. I got into that state. It's the synchrony of heart coherence; feeling totally fine, no panic.
I swam around this bay looking for them. But again, this is a big bay. I'm looking for two tiny keys lost in the coral 10 to 12 feet deep. There's no logical way of finding them. But my intuition said, ‘Let's do this.' As dusk began to fall, a father with three teenage sons got into the water …
My intuition said, ‘Just go talk to them.' I said to them, ‘I've been noticing you, seeing you dive to the bottom. Did you, by chance, find anything in the coral down there?' The youngest boy held up my keys. The chances of that happening are infinitesimally small.
But when those things happen to you, again and again, it's like the universe saying to you, ‘Hey. Pay attention. Something's going on here.' Synchronicity, when we're in sync, when we're in that state of a heart coherence, when we meditate, when we tap away our stress, we enter that space of what I call nonlocal mind.
In the nonlocal mind, we have access to information we don't have at a level of local mind. I begin the book and end the book with this really powerful plea to make that your life. That you aren't living your life just kind of limited by what you see at the commission of your local mind; that you open yourself to meditation every day, and to the mystery of the nonlocal mind …
Nonlocal mind is doing all kinds of miracles in our lives and nature all the time. If we just open ourselves to that level of information, we gain access to levels of consciousness [and] knowing that is far beyond the ones we have at the level of our small, little local minds.”
Being in the Flow
This synchronous mind Dawson is talking about is the same as what athletes experience as “being in the flow” or “being in the zone.” Using electroencephalography (EEG), researchers have shown that when an athlete is in the flow, their brainwaves are in phase. On the other hand, if you look at the EEG of someone who is angry or frustrated or processing a negative emotion, you find their brain waves are not in step.
“It's not a figure of speech, it's literally a flow state,” he says. “You could actually measure the brain[waves], and then recreate that. It's not a mystery anymore. We know the formula. We could reproduce the formula. We can train anybody to acquire that kind of a state.”
The book also discusses research showing how our brainwaves affect our biology. Delta frequencies, for example, have been shown to trigger cellular regeneration. Up until a few years ago, we didn't have the equipment to measure really slow delta waves below one cycle per second. Now, there's research showing that telomere regeneration is sparked by ultraslow brainwaves at 0.19 cycles per second.
How do you generate delta brainwaves? Certain types of meditation will get you there. Doing EFT will also generate delta frequencies. Certain theta frequencies, meanwhile, stimulate stem cell production.
According to Dawson, the Schumann frequency of 7.8 hertz is a special frequency generated through meditation that is associated with a number of beneficial changes in your body. This is also why many integrative cancer specialists are now stressing the importance of lowering stress and incorporating meditation in their cancer treatment programs.
A Cancer Story
A woman named Beth Misner is writing a book about her cancer experience, and how she drove her cancer into remission using nothing but energy medicine. In March 2017, she was diagnosed with a 5-centimeter (2-inch) tumor in her right breast. The lymph nodes under her right armpit were also inflamed and full of cancerous cells — a sign that the cancer had spread into her limbic system. They also discovered three areas of concern on her right lung.
Her doctor at MD Anderson in Houston (a famous cancer clinic) wanted to initiate radiation right away, but Misner decided to wait. She eventually decided to address her cancer on the level of energy. She contacted Dawson for advice and suggestions. Dawson recounts what happened next:
“She began to do chi gung intensively. She began to tap intensively. She began to do energy medicine exercises, and got energy medicine treatments. She cleaned up her diet. She got rid of stress in her life. She did a whole bunch of proactive things to shift herself at the energy level.
Now, this is March [when] she gets the diagnosis of MD Anderson. By May, scans showed that all the lymph nodes under her right armpit were completely clear, and the tumor shrunk from 5 centimeters to 1.4 centimeters. One of her doctors said, ‘Well, it looks to me like it's just necrotic. It's just dissolving. Her body has removed it.'
She, again, just kept on the energy techniques and later on her bloodwork showed not a trace of cancer in her body. That's the power of using energy. That's why I urge people, whatever your challenge is — it doesn't mean this is the right approach for everybody — but pay attention to stress. Pay attention to energy.”
A very important side note here is that you have to make a choice, and it's not necessarily an easy one. If you have chemo and/or radiation, energy work will not be effective, as the treatments are simply too toxic. Metabolic cancer therapies such as cyclical ketosis and fasting, on the other hand, can be very beneficial.
“I'm not saying [energy work] is going to work perfectly for everyone. What I'm saying is look at your energy options. What ‘Mind to Matter' shows you is that my consciousness and energy has enormous effect on the matter of your cells. If you're ignoring that leverage point, you're ignoring the biggest possible leverage point of your own health,” Dawson says.
How to Get Into a Coherent Flow State
So, how do you get into a coherent state of flow? Lifelong meditators can do it effortlessly, showing that it's a matter of training. Through experimentation, Dawson developed a program he calls EcoMeditation that combines HeartMath's quick coherence technique with tapping and mindfulness.
Dawson cites research showing that EFT can cause a 37 percent drop in cortisol in just one week. And, when cortisol goes down, DHEA goes up, because they make the same two precursors. It also improves many beneficial enzymes. For example, in one week, baseline immunoglobulin levels rose by 113 percent, basically more than doubling immune-functioning markers. It also decreases sympathetic nervous system activation.
“We know now, because we've looked at this in peak performers, athletes, business people, financial experts, in people in meditative monasteries and nunneries and people who are really focused on meditation in the long term.
We know that meditation has these effects, but how do you get there quickly? You can spend an hour with your eyes closed and not be meditating. Or you can spend two minutes and enter a deep state. How do you get there? I'm focused on that really intently now,” Dawson says.
Dawson defines meditation as the ability to sustain an alpha state for 15 seconds or more. EcoMeditation can get you into a coherent brain state in about four minutes.
“You essentially are mimicking the breathing, the posture of that 10,000-hour Tibetan monk. If you do what they do, if you mimic with no belief, no spiritual superstructure, and just give the physiological cues to your body, you go into that what we call the ‘awakened mind state' just like that,” he says.
Seven Steps to Awakened Mind
You can find a series of guided meditations by Church on InsightTimer.com, including entraining yourself with synchronicity and affirming inner peace.
There are seven steps to Dawson's EcoMeditation formula.1 For best results, set aside 20 to 30 minutes for this practice each day. Studies suggest half an hour of meditation daily produces noticeable changes in about a month or two, but even as little as 10 minutes a day can produce shifts in about 10 days.
1. First, tap each of the EFT acupressure points (see diagram), while holding the intention that you are calm and peaceful. While tapping, say to yourself (out loud or silently), “I release any and all blocks to inner peace. I release all tension in my body. I release anything in my past, present or future that stands between me and inner peace.”
2. Next, relax your tongue on the floor of your mouth. This relaxes the hypoglossal nerve that runs from your tongue into the vagal nerve, which tells your vagal nerve that you aren't under threat. As a result, your whole body starts to relax.
3. Now, picture a large empty space behind your eyes. Simply doing this will put you into an alpha state.
4. Do the HeartMath quick coherence technique, which involves slowing your breathing to six seconds per in-breath and six seconds per out-breath (five breaths per minute).
5. Next, visualize your physical heart, and imagine breathing in and out of your heart. This will put you into a deep state of heart coherence.
6. With each out-breath, imagine a beam of love flowing out from your heart toward a person or place that you love. Hold this image for several breaths. Simply doing this will generate delta, theta and even gamma brainwaves. Gamma is the wave of happiness and integration.
“Most people don't have a gamma flare that lasts more than two seconds,” Dawson says. “But after a week of meditation, you live in that state where you're having these flares of integrative brainwaves called gamma at the very top of the band, and then people feel totally wonderful.”
7. Lastly, bring the beam of love back into your heart and visualize it flowing into any part of your body that is uncomfortable or in pain. To end the meditation, take three deep six-second breaths, then return your attention to the room and open your eyes.
When to Meditate for Optimal Results, and What To Do When Stress Strikes
Dawson recommends doing your meditation first thing in the morning, and to complement it with EFT during the day whenever stress might rear its ugly head.
“If you wake up and the first thing you turn your attention to is being in that alpha state, that dreamy state and meditating, then you capture all benefits of being in that alpha state … I see this as extending that sleep state out into your waking state,” he says.
“[When] you start your day that way, you condition synchronicity. You condition beta thinking … [R]esearchers find that people's problem-solving ability goes up by 260 percent when they're in that state. Their creativity doubles. Their productivity at work increases dramatically. You're now a far more productive human being …
When you're going through the day and [stress gets triggered] … that's when you tap … Usually within two minutes, you will see your subjective units of distress scale go down to a low number, often a zero. Then go about your day. Now, you're much calmer, and you're able to proactively move through your day with this little technique to help yourself recover.
Recovery time is pretty fast. After a while, you develop a different and new homeostasis, where your irritability, your resentment levels, your level of guilt, shame, anger and blame, all of these negative emotions has to go way down.”
Meditation Alters Your Brain Structure
According to Dawson, doing this meditation every day, your baseline levels of cortisol and immunoglobulin will begin to improve. Certain feel-good hormones will also increase. Once you get used to feeling good, that then becomes your new normal. This has to do with the neuroplasticity of your brain. Dawson explains:
“Neuroplasticity is like the hardware in our brains — the channels that conduct information, the neurons and the synapses that carry the flow of energy of information in our brains. The ones you use the most get developed … But the speed of this is extraordinary.
Within one hour of repeated stimulation, where there was just one synapse, now there are two. That's in one hour of repeat stimulation. If you stimulate that neural bundle for weeks, days, months and years, it grows much bigger. Eventually, the software of your consciousness literally creates the hardware of your brain.”
One stunning story showing just how significantly you can change your brain through meditation is recounted in Chapter 1 of Dawson's book. Graham Phillips, a TV reporter, decided to try an eight-week meditation program given by Monash University. He was a skeptic, and wanted to test it out for himself.
“The experts there … did MRIs on every single region of his brain … after which he began to meditate regularly and be mindful of the course of his day. After two weeks, he found, behaviorally, he was much less stressed. After eight weeks, he went back into the lab. Again, they spent a whole day going over all of these tests with him. They also got a second MRI to measure the volume of different parts of his brain.
This number sounds too crazy, it's almost like science fiction, but they examined a part of the hippocampus, the dentate gyrus, which is the memory or learning center that has to do with the regulation of emotion … and found it grew by 22.8 percent … So, it's not just a feel-good practice. It's literally reshaping the content inside your skull.”
Healing Can Be Learned
Research shows that when you expose cells to a frequency of 7.81 hertz, DNA replication becomes far more efficient. Importantly, certain frequencies stimulate the reproduction of stem cells, while other frequencies cause the stem cells to migrate and adhere where needed.
To use stem cells for healing, those are the three things required: replication, migration and adhesion, and all three can be triggered through meditation. “In the book, I have a list of the conditions that are treated successfully with energy healing,” Dawson says.
“The disease is a symptom of the dysregulation of your system. Take cancer, for example. Those cancer cells can't live in a normal healthy body. They only live in a body that is dysregulated. You want to improve all those factors that are dysregulating you, then you'll see a pervasive upwards spiral and good effect on your health generally,” he says.
“The more I learn about the body, the more I see that the body is a [self-]healing machine. The body heals naturally. You have to do something pretty radical to stop the body from healing. When you load it up with sugar, stress and things like that, you get in the way of healing.
But your body is just an amazing healing machine, the way cells proliferate. All you have to do is get out of the way. Get out of the way by not stuffing things in your mouth, stuffing things in your mind, stuffing things in your environment that hurt you and don't work for you. If you just quit doing the bad stuff, then your body is naturally going to heal …
Some people do need an external stimulus … Sometimes I will say, ‘You need to go an energy healer. You need a boost energetically to get the process going. Go get acupuncture. Go see an energy medicine practitioner. Go see a therapist.' You need that external push for some people's bodies …”
Mind to Matter
To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of “Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality.” In it, Dawson lists 30 lifestyle practices that can make a big difference in your physical and psychological health. You can also find more information — including a free EFT mini-manual and Dawson's published research — on his website, DawsonChurch.com.
“I want to inspire people [to take action],” he says. “You will literally feel yourself changing when you [meditate every day]. That's the biggest gift that you can give yourself. Release that stress. When you do that, your full human potential starts to shine. All those parts of yourself that have been stuck, all those limiting stories you start to let go of, then you can be.
The magnificence of you starts to come through. As you're hooked up to your nonlocal mind in meditation, you get access to ideas, solutions and all kinds of knowledge and wisdom you don't have when you're stuck in the level of local mind.
Then suddenly, your life becomes way easier. You're living in synchrony not just with other people around you, but with the whole universe. That's what I call a synchronous life …
If you're listening to this … please, I'm asking you to raise your hand now and make that commitment to meditating every day. Meditation is free. It's online. Go there. Grab it. Try it out. You will feel the shifts inside of yourself. But do that as your gift for yourself for the new year.”
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